Tag Archive | "Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami"

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UM Dedicates Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios, a Facility In Harmony with Its Musical Mission


By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 20, 2015) – A soprano whose voice dazzled judges at a recent major metropolitan opera competition, Ana Collado has had her share of memorable rehearsals at the University of Miami’s Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, but none quite like the session she recently experienced.

“I felt free,” said the UM vocal performance major. “I could sing without feeling like I had to push to hear my sound come back.”

Credit the acoustics and soundproofing of the Frost School’s new state-of-the-art teaching studios for her freedom. With independent walls, floors, and ceilings, each studio is, according to Frost School Dean Shelton “Shelly” Berg, a “floating box within a box,” allowing students to practice and learn without having to hear the percussionist, brass, or string artist practicing next door.

On a cool South Florida Friday, hundreds of music lovers got a firsthand look at those high-tech rooms when UM dedicated its new Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios, a 41,089-square-foot twin-building complex that will unite the school’s 770 students and 125 faculty “like never before,” said Berg.

“There’s no question this is going to have a huge impact,” Berg said of the new facility. “A lot of our faculty were teaching in practice rooms instead of real teaching studios. Now, they have the best teaching studios in the country.”

Among the features: 77 chamber music and teaching studios, two oversized rehearsal halls, a reception and information center, and a furnished breezeway. Designed by award-winning architects Yann Weymouth and HOK and built by Skansa USA, the facility is touted as the first building project in Coral Gables designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, with sustainable features such as energy-efficient windows, rooftop solar panels, and cisterns that reduce water and electricity usage.

The complex is part of UM’s Momentum2 campaign and is made possible by the benefactors, Phillip and Patricia Frost, whose landmark gift back in 2003 renamed UM’s music school in their honor. Featuring a new grand entrance into the school, the studios honor Patricia Frost’s lifelong commitment to music education as an elementary school principal and higher education advocate.

“[The Frosts] care deeply about producing and driving excellence wherever they go,” said UM Board of Trustees Chairman Stuart A. Miller.

“Today is indeed pitch perfect and beautifully orchestrated,” UM President Donna E. Shalala said at the dedication. “Our students now have the state-of-the-art studios they need to truly blossom as musicians.”

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was also among those who spoke at the dedication ceremony, which included several musical performances by students.

The new chamber music and teaching studios are a significant upgrade over the Bertha Foster Memorial Music Building’s old 8-foot x 10-foot rooms, many of which were not being used for practice sessions at all but for private teaching lessons, forcing students to compete for scarce rehearsal space.

Students began taking lessons and practicing in the new facility last week, giving it a musical christening in advance of Friday’s dedication ceremony.

Bassoonist Julia Paine, a Stamps Distinguished Ensemble Scholar and member of the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, had her first lesson in one of the studios last Thursday and was impressed with the improved quality of sound and the larger space. “The previous studio I worked in was carpeted, and the sound was absorbed by the floor,” she explained. “These new studios are all wood floored and provide enough space so if you are running through a piece with a pianist, you can make eye contact or simply see the other person’s body movement. This is huge because it makes rehearsal much more efficient, as you can rely on your eyes and ears.”

Stamps Music Scholar Sarah Huesman, who started playing the cello when she was 6, explored the Frost Studios complex before she even had a chance to practice there. The UM freshman is thrilled about its opening “because I have the next four years ahead of me to improve my musical skills in this beautiful new building,” she said.

Huesman and other students who have years of Frost School of Music instruction ahead of them are among the first to be immersed in the school’s new experiential music curriculum built around chamber music.

“Rather than sitting in large lectures talking about the various things they’ll need to be able to do as a musicians—composing, arranging, improvising—they’re placed in small groups that are essentially little laboratories for doing all of those things,” said Berg, adding that the Frost School’s new curriculum will be “fully realized” now that the Frost Music Studios have opened.

“I’m going to walk though this building for the rest of my time as dean and see students in the space they deserve,” said Berg.

All of the UM music school’s faculty have moved into their teaching studios inside the new buildings, making it the first time they have all been under one roof. In past years, they were scattered as far away as the Pentland House on Dickenson Drive and in another building on Brescia Avenue. They are now admittedly ecstatic about being together in one place—a situation they believe will foster greater collaboration.

“I enjoyed my office in Pentland, but it was isolated,” said Dorothy Hindman, assistant professor of theory and composition. “I am now surrounded by my colleagues, and seeing them casually is a huge boost to my sense of collegiality. I have an energizing space where I can teach my students and see them similarly energized. The space is large enough that I can teach small seminars of up to six students, which is hugely beneficial to the graduate student courses I teach.”

Rafael M. Padron, who teaches classical guitar, a delicate instrument, said his students will benefit immensely from the studios’ acoustics and ability to minimize external noise.

Associate Professor Trudy Kane teaches another delicate instrument—flute—that requires her students not be affected by surrounding noise during practice sessions. She called the new studios’ acoustics and soundproofing “fabulous.”

“The sounds that are produced are more realistic,” she said. “I no longer hear all the music, however wonderful it may have been, being produced in the neighboring studios. Now, I can give my full attention to my students.”

Film and concert music composer Carlos Rivera, who teaches in the Creative American Music Program, did not even have an office before the Frost Music Studios opened. He used one of the on-campus Starbucks to meet with his students. Now, he is in the Skanska USA Classroom that doubles as an office and teaching studio with rehearsal space and recording and mixing capabilities. He admits that he welled up the first time he walked into his new digs.

“I really did get emotional,” he said. “It hit me that this was going to be my space to work in, and it’s a big one, and we’ll be able to have real classes…and not have to worry about sound from another room bleeding into our studio.”

Steven Moore, the Frost School’s associate dean for undergraduate studies, may have said it best: “Now, the music school of the future will have a building of the future that is in harmony with its mission.”

University Communications intern Renee Reneau contributed to this story.

 

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Cuban Heritage Collection Receives $2M to Expand Its ‘Home Away from Home’


By Barbara Gutierrez and Sarah Block
UM News

goizueta_mural-vert_600x724

The Goizueta Pavilion’s exhibition gallery features Espejo de Paciencia, a mural by Humberto Calzada.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 19, 2015) – In 2010, Anita Casavantes Bradford, a doctoral student at the University of California, San Diego, came to Miami to conduct historical research at the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) as part of the inaugural class of the Graduate Fellowship Program.

Her work, and that of many other emerging scholars who have taken part in the program, recently inspired a $2 million gift from The Goizueta Foundation that will lead to the program’s expansion and permanent establishment at the CHC. Read the full story

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Cyclists Hit the Streets for a Wheel Good Cause—Fighting Cancer

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Cyclists Hit the Streets for a Wheel Good Cause—Fighting Cancer


By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (February 8, 2015)—The pain shooting down Celia Schieffelin’s left ankle was only a minor distraction. Inspired by the courageous battle her mother fought but ultimately lost against cancer, the 19-year-old University of Miami student seemed impervious to just about anything during a 25-mile bike ride from Fort Lauderdale’s Esplanade Park to Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

But Schieffelin didn’t complete the marathon-length journey to shine a spotlight on herself. “It’s about the cause,” she said.

Schieffelin was one of the more than 2,700 cyclists who took to the streets February 7-8 for Dolphins Cycling Challenge V. The two-day charity event, which culminated Sunday with hundreds of cyclists riding to Sun Life Stadium, raises funds for the lifesaving treatment and research programs of UM’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Former Miami Dolphins tight end Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich helped start the fundraiser five years ago while he was battling bile duct cancer, a disease that took his life in April 2011 at the age of 62. The event, which features rides of various lengths over three counties, has raised close to $10 million since it began in 2010, with more than $3.4 million being raised for this year’s DCC.

Several UM employees and students rode as members of Team Sylvester. Schieffelin formed her own team. “We all feel very strongly and passionate about wiping out cancer, and that’s why we united to form Team Barb,” she said, referring to the group of cyclists she organized to honor her late mother, Barbara Burg, and raise funds for Sylvester’s research initiatives.

On Sunday, Schieffelin crossed the finish line about two hours after she departed Fort Lauderdale—other members of Team Barb riding alongside her or following closely behind. Wearing hot pink jerseys with the slogan “Team Barb: Family Is Forever” on the front, they included Schieffelin’s aunts and uncles, who flew in from New York to ride with her, as well as fellow UM students and a group of friends who traveled from California. Thirty-two riders strong, Team Barb has raised more than $100,000 for the cause.

It was Schieffelin’s second DCC. She rode in DCC IV in November 2013 as a freshman, completing a 13-mile ride even as her mother battled colorectal cancer that had spread to other parts of her body. The finance and management major almost missed this year’s ride, tearing two ligaments in her left ankle last semester. But the injury, while not completely healed, improved enough so that she could train on a stationary bike to prepare for the event.

Like Schieffelin, Lynette Estrada’s reason for riding hits close to home. Her teenage son, Lucas, in addition to having autism, has battled brain cancer for most of his life. “We draw strength from each other,” said Estrada. “Despite his autism, he understands why I ride. When I tell him or remind him, he answers, ‘Oh yeah!’ And he puts up both fists as if he’s fighting someone. Lucas is my biggest fan.”

Lucas came down with a persistent cough days before the DCC. So instead of riding the 72-mile “Perfect Season Ride” from West Palm Beach to Miami, as she had planned, Estrada hooked up her Specialized road bike to a trainer and pedaled for five hours inside her home on Sunday, stopping only for water breaks and to administer medication to her son.

It was Joe Natoli’s fourth Dolphins Cycling Challenge. UM’s senior vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer rode 170 miles—from Sun Life Stadium to West Palm Beach on Saturday, with the return ride on Sunday. He called Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center “a hugely important community asset.”

“It needs to be—and is on its way to being—one of the finest cancer centers in the world,” said Natoli. “The DCC, by providing significant funds for unrestricted cancer research, addresses one of the most critical needs for achieving world-class status. I’m thrilled with the growth in the DCC over its first five years, but we have just scratched the surface of its potential—and Sylvester’s potential for greatness.”

Among the other prominent riders: Stuart A. Miller, chairman of the UM Board of Trustees; Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs, dean of the Miller School of Medicine, and CEO of UHealth; and Stephen D. Nimer, director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This year’s event included a 5K run/walk, held in the early-morning hours on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium before the cyclists started to arrive.

 

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UM Trustee Robert Mann Makes $1M Gift to Athletics

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UM Trustee Robert Mann Makes $1M Gift to Athletics


UM News

RobertAMann

UM Trustee and alumnus Robert A. Mann

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 14, 2015) — The University of Miami Athletics Department announced a gift last Wednesday of $1 million from UM Trustee and alumnus Robert A. Mann to create the Robert A. Mann Endowed Fund for the Department of Athletics.

This endowment gift, which will support Hurricanes football, basketball, baseball, and emergency needs for all student-athletes as determined by the director of athletics, is in support of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami. With this gift, the Athletics Department has raised more than $104 million towards its Momentum2 goal of $125 million.

“Thank you to Bob Mann for his longstanding generosity, commitment, and leadership to University of Miami Athletics,” said UM Director of Athletics Blake James. “Bob is a trusted friend to our program and we are grateful that our dedicated student-athletes will forever benefit from Bob’s generosity and leadership.”

A Cleveland native and longtime Golden ’Cane, Mann has generously supported scholarships and facilities in both Athletics and the School of Communication. Mann, A.B. ’70, serves on the University’s Board of Trustees’ Athletics Advisory Committee and chairs the Visiting Committee of the School of Communication. His past contributions to athletics include support for the construction of Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field, the Robert A. Mann Auditorium in the Schwartz Center for Athletics Excellence, and many years of generous discretionary support.

Recognized for his unwavering commitment to his alma mater, Mann was named Henry King Stanford Alumnus of the Year in 2008.

To learn more about athletics giving opportunities or to make a gift to University of Miami Athletics, visit uhurricaneclub.com or call Jesse Marks, associate athletics director for development, at 305-284-2981.

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Jacob Winston Gives Back to UM While Still Earning His Degree


Jake-Winston

Jacob “Jake” Winston understands the importance of financial aid for students who have the talent but not the resources to attend the University of Miami. “When I enrolled here as a freshman in 2009, UM gave me a scholarship, and that was a major factor in my decision to come here,” says Winston, a senior security systems technician at the UM Police Department. “Now that I am working full time here, I feel privileged to give back to the University.”

Last May, Winston contributed to the Class of 2014’s senior gift to UM, although he won’t receive his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering until next spring. He also gives 1 percent of his salary to the United Way, designating the University as the recipient. “I put no restrictions on my gifts,” says Winston. “It doesn’t matter where the donation goes as long as it helps UM.”

A native of Michigan, Winston has always been computer savvy, and his high school teachers in engineering design and anatomy inspired him to study the layout and functions of complex systems, such as the human body.

Now, Winston is applying that knowledge to the University’s campus-wide video security system. “Our goal is to protect people and catch criminals,” he says. When campus police conduct an investigation, Winston reviews video footage from surveillance cameras and provides information that can help lead to the apprehension and conviction of a suspect.

When he’s not on duty, Winston enjoys listening to all types of music, relaxing at the beach, and going out with his friends. “Miami is a great international city, and it’s a lot of fun to live and work here,” he says. “There’s something new and different to do every weekend.”

He never wavers, though, from encouraging other employees to do their part in supporting and sustaining the University. “We are all part of the ’Canes family,” he says. “The more we give, the more we strengthen the value of UM as an academic institution.”

 

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